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TikTok declares its ban on political advertising – TechCrunch

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The Beijing-based video app TikTok, which is already under fire for promoting Chinese foreign policy through censorship of topics such as Hong Kong’s protests and pro-LGBT content, is now further distancing itself from US social media platforms such as a ban Facebook, Twitter and Instagram political advertising in its app.

The company says today that it will not allow political ads on TikTok, and notes that these are inconsistent with the experience the short video app is supposed to provide.

“All paid ads that get into the community must meet our platform’s standards, and we don’t think the nature of paid political ads matches the experience of the TikTok platform,” said Blake Chandlee, VP of Global Business Solutions at TikTok, the recently joined the company from Facebook.

“To that end, we do not allow paid advertisements that promote or reject any federal, state or local candidate, current leader, political party or group, or cause – including election-related advertisements, advocacy advertisements, or disclosure advertisements,” he says .

TikTok goes on to explain that it wants to be known as a place of creative expression and creates a “positive, refreshing environment” that inspires that creativity.

It will further promote these goals through its products such as its fun filters and effects, as well as its brand partnerships.

Today, TikTok offers a range of advertising options including in-feed video ads, home screen ads, and other native ads like the Sponsored Hashtag Challenges. It also recently launched a beta version of the TikTok Creator Marketplace that will help connect brands with TikTok creators for their marketing campaigns.

“In all of this, however, our main focus is on creating a fun, real-life experience for our community,” continues Chandlee. “As we look for ways to add value to brands, we always want to be true to why users love the TikTok platform itself so: for the carefree and disrespectful feel of the app that makes it such a fun place to be, time to spend. ”he says.

Political advertising doesn’t fit into this agenda, the company believes.

However, running these types of ads also comes with significant challenges, as Facebook discovered.

For example, it had to create a credential verification system for political advertisers that required them to provide identification information such as their address, phone number, business email, and website that matched the U.S. email address, tax ID, or ID number. Federal Electoral Commission agrees to transmit. A publicly searchable database of political advertisements has also been introduced for the sake of transparency.

As a China-run company, TikTok may not have the resources to perform a similar process. In fact, it appeared to be struggling to crack down on the hate speech found on its app last year, VICE reported.

The political advertising ban isn’t really new to TikTok, it’s more of a repetition of the existing policy – but it’s a statement TikTok has never made.

The company tells Techcrunch that it has decided to proactively address the policy to make its advertising policies transparent – especially as interest in marketing opportunities on the platform continues to grow.

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